Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Volume: 105, Issue: 2, Published: 2010
  • Evaluation of buffy coat 16S rRNA PCR, buffy coat culture and whole blood PCR for detection of bacteraemia Articles

    Valle Jr, Demetrio L; Andrade, Jeannie I; Cabrera, Esperanza C; Rivera, Windell L

    Abstract in English:

    The use of Gram type-specific PCR on buffy coat from clinical specimens for the detection of bacteraemia was evaluated for the first time using whole blood culture as the gold standard. In addition, the established buffy coat culture and whole blood PCR were also compared. Gram-positive bacteria belonging to six species and Gram-negative bacteria from 10 species were isolated and identified by culture and detected using broad-range 16S rDNA primers and Gram-specific primers. Data from the three methods all conferred very high sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values when compared to whole blood culture. The Kappa coefficients of agreement were 0.9819 (buffy coat PCR), 0.9458 (whole blood PCR) and 1.0 (buffy coat culture), which establishes their validity as alternative methods to routine blood culture in detecting bacteraemia. In addition, results showed that there was a direct correlation of WBC counts greater than 12,000 cells per mm³ to the occurrence of bacteraemia as detected by the four methods (p < 0.05).
  • Assessing protein stability of the dimeric DNA-binding domain of E2 human papillomavirus 18 with molecular dynamics Articles

    Isea, Raúl; Ramírez, José Luis; Hoebeke, Johan

    Abstract in English:

    The objective of this study is to understand the structural flexibility and curvature of the E2 protein of human papillomavirus type 18 using molecular dynamics (6 ns). E2 is required for viral DNA replication and its disruption could be an anti-viral strategy. E2 is a dimer, with each monomer folding into a stable open-faced β-sandwich. We calculated the mobility of the E2 dimer and found that it was asymmetric. These different mobilities of E2 monomers suggest that drugs or vaccines could be targeted to the interface between the two monomers.
  • Biological activity of the mite Sancassania sp. (Acari: Acaridae) from bat guano associated with the pathogenic fungus Histoplasma capsulatum Articles

    Estrada-Bárcenas, Daniel A; Palacios-Vargas, José G; Estrada-Venegas, Edith; Klimov, Pavel B; Martínez-Mena, Alejandro; Taylor, Maria Lucia

    Abstract in English:

    Mites and the mammal pathogenic fungus Histoplasma capsulatum are the major components of bat guano microbiota. Interactions between mites and H. capsulatum were evaluated under laboratory conditions. Acarid mites, mainly Sancassania sp., were the most abundant microarthropod in the sampled guano of the Mexican bat Tadarida brasiliensis mexicana and, based on its morphology, Sancassania sp. was similar to the cosmopolitan species Sancassania sphaerogaster. The mycophagous and vectoring activities of this mite were tested for H. capsulatum and two other fungal species, Sporothrix schenckii (pathogenic) and Aspergillus sclerotiorum (non-pathogenic). S. ca. sphaerogaster was able to reproduce in H. capsulatum and S. schenckii colonies, multiplying in great numbers under controlled fungal mycelial-phase culture conditions. H. capsulatum colonies were completely destroyed after 14 days of in vitro interaction with mites. In contrast, S. ca. sphaerogaster did not reproduce in A. sclerotiorum cultures. S. ca. sphaerogaster was found vectoring H. capsulatum, but not the two other fungal species studied.
  • Primary culture of Rhodnius prolixus (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) salivary gland cells Articles

    Rocha, Fernanda F; Araujo, Ricardo N; Silva, Luciana M; Gontijo, Nelder F; Pereira, Marcos H

    Abstract in English:

    In the present paper, we developed a primary culture of Rhodnius prolixus salivary gland and main salivary canal cells. Cells remained viable in culture for 30 days. Three types of cells were indentified in the salivary gland cultures, with binuclear cells being the most abundant. The supernatants of salivary cultures contained mainly 16-24 kDa proteins and presented anticoagulant and apyrase activities. Secretion vesicles were observed budding from the cellular monolayer of the main salivary canal cells. These results indicate that R. prolixus salivary proteins may be produced in vitro and suggest that the main salivary canal may have a possible secretory role.
  • 15d-PGJ2 modulates acute immune responses to Trypanosoma cruzi infection Articles

    Rodrigues, Wellington F; Miguel, Camila B; Chica, Javier E Lazo; Napimoga, Marcelo H

    Abstract in English:

    The acute phase of Trypanosoma cruzi infection is associated with a strong inflammatory reaction in the heart characterised by a massive infiltration of immune cells that is dependent on the T. cruzi strain and the host response. 15d-PGJ2 belongs to a new class of anti-inflammatory compounds with possible clinical applications. We evaluated the effects of 15d-PGJ2 administered during the acute phase of T. cruzi infection in mice. Mice were infected with the Colombian strain of T. cruzi and subsequently treated with 15d-PGJ2 repeatedly for seven days. The inflammatory infiltrate was examined by histologic analysis. Slides were immunohistochemically stained to count the number and the relative size of parasite nests. Infection-induced changes in serum cytokine levels were measured by ELISA. The results demonstrated that treatment with 15d-PGJ2 reduced the inflammatory infiltrate in the skeletal muscle at the site of infection and decreased the number of lymphocytes and neutrophils in the blood. In addition, we found that 15d-PGJ2 led to a decrease in the relative volume density of amastigote nests in cardiac muscle. T. cruzi-infected animals treated with 15d-PGJ2 displayed a statistically significant increase in IL-10 levels with no change in IFN-γ levels. Taken together, we demonstrate that treatment with 15d-PGJ2 in the acute phase of Chagas disease led to a controlled immune response with decreased numbers of amastigote nests, as measured by the volume density.
  • High prevalence and low E6 genetic variability of human papillomavirus 58 in women with cervical cancer and precursor lesions in Southeast Mexico Articles

    Canche, Jaqueline Canul; López, Iván Rosado; Suárez, Nicolás G; Acosta, Gladis Colli; Conde-Ferráez, Laura; Cetina, Thelma Canto de; Losa, María R González

    Abstract in English:

    Infection with some genotypes of human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most important risk factor associated with cervical cancer (CC). Throughout the world, HPV type 58 prevalence varies from one region to another; it is higher in women from certain countries in Asia and Latin America, such as China and Mexico. Although intratypic variants have been reported on a few occasions, our knowledge about HPV 58 genetic variation remains limited. Therefore, this work aims to (i) determine the prevalence of HPV type 58 amongst Mexican women with invasive CC or precursor lesions and (ii) identify HPV 58 sequence variants. One hundred and forty five colposcopy clinic patients were studied. Genotyping of HPV 16, 18 and 58 was determined by specific nested PCR and HPV 58 variants were detected by direct sequencing. The general prevalence of HPV was 51.7% (75/145). HPV 16 was found in 30.6% (23/75) and HPV 58 in 24% (18/75) of the patients. HPV 18 was not identified in patients with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) grade I; it was only found in those with CIN II, with a prevalence of 6.8% (3/44). In patients with CC, the prevalence of HPV 16 and 58 was 78.9%. Regarding HPV 58 variants, 94.4% of the HPV 58 sequences were identical to the prototype strain, whereas one sample showed changes at a single nucleotide. This study demonstrates a high prevalence of HPV 58 and a low genetic variability of E6 sequences amongst Mexican colposcopy patients.
  • Inheritance of Schistosoma mansoni infection incompatibility in Biomphalaria alexandrina snails Articles

    El Naga, Iman F Abou; Eissa, Maha M; Mossallam, Shereen F; El-Halim, Safaa I Abd

    Abstract in English:

    In this study, we looked at the inheritance of susceptibility and resistance to Schistosoma mansoni infection in the first generation of crossbred Biomphalaria alexandrina snails. Our ultimate goal is to use such information to develop a biological method of controlling schistosomiasis. We infected laboratory-bred snails with S. mansoni miracidia and examined cercarial shedding to determine susceptibility and resistance. Five parental groups were used: Group I contained 30 susceptible snails, Group II contained 30 resistant snails, Group III contained 15 susceptible and 15 resistant snails, Group IV contained 27 susceptible and three resistant snails and Group V contained three susceptible and 27 resistant snails. The percentage of resistant snails in the resulting progeny varied according to the ratio of susceptible and resistant parents per group; they are 7%, 100%, 68%, 45% and 97% from Groups I, II, III, IV and V, respectively. On increasing the percentage of resistant parent snails, the percentage of resistant progeny increased, while cercarial production in their susceptible progeny decreased.
  • Biodiversity and influence of climatic factors on mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) around the Peixe Angical hydroelectric scheme in the state of Tocantins, Brazil Articles

    Silva, Júlia dos Santos; Pacheco, Juliana Barreto; Alencar, Jeronimo; Guimarães, Anthony Érico

    Abstract in English:

    The influence of climatic factors on the seasonal frequency of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) at the Peixe Angical hydroelectric scheme (Tocantins, Brazil) was evaluated in the present paper. Mosquito surveys were conducted in the municipality of Peixe and in areas surrounding the reservoir in the municipalities of Paranã and São Salvador do Tocantins during two daytime periods (10 am-12 noon and 2 pm-4 pm) and two night-time periods (6 pm-8 pm and 6 pm-10 am) over 14 months. In total, 10,840 specimens from 42 species were captured, 84.5% of which belonged to the Culcinae. The most common species were Anopheles darlingi, Psorophora albipes and Sabethes chloropterus. The number of Culicidae specimens was higher in months with higher rainfall and air humidity than during the drier months. The large population of Ps. albipes and the presence of both An. darlingi (primary vector for human malaria parasites) and Haemagogus janthinomys (primary vector for yellow fever virus) are highlighted.
  • blaCTX-M-2 and blaCTX-M-28 extended-spectrum β-lactamase genes and class 1 integrons in clinical isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae from Brazil Articles

    Lopes, Ana Catarina S; Veras, Dyana Leal; Lima, Alexsandra Mariá S; Melo, Rita de Cássia Andrade; Ayala, Juan

    Abstract in English:

    Twenty-eight Klebsiella pneumoniae clinical isolates that exhibited an extended-spectrum cephalosporin-resistance profile from a city in the Northeast of Brazil were analysed by PCR and DNA sequencing in order to determine the occurrence of blaCTX-M genes and class 1 integrons. We determined the occurrence of the blaCTX-M-2 gene in six K. pneumoniae isolates and describe the first detection of the blaCTX-M-28 gene in South America. Seven isolates carried class 1 integrons. Partial sequencing analysis of the 5'-3'CS variable region in the class 1 integrons of three isolates revealed the presence of aadA1, blaOXA-2 and dfr22 gene cassettes.
  • Chemistry, cytotoxicity and antileishmanial activity of the essential oil from Piper auritum Articles

    Monzote, Lianet; García, Marley; Montalvo, Ana Margarita; Scull, Ramón; Miranda, Migdalia

    Abstract in English:

    Leishmaniasis is one of the most important parasitic infections, but current treatments are unsatisfactory due to their toxicity, cost and resistance. Therefore, the development of new antileishmanial compounds is imperative. Many people who live in endemic areas use plants as an alternative to treat the disease. In this paper, we characterised the essential oil from Piper auritum, evaluated its cytotoxicity and determined its antileishmanial activity. The chromatogram obtained by gas chromatography revealed 60 peaks and we found that safrole was the most abundant compound, composing 87% of the oil. The oil was active against the promastigotes of Leishmania major, Leishmania mexicana, Leishmania braziliensis and Leishmania donovani with a favourable selectivity index against peritoneal macrophages from BALB/c mice. The Piper-oil inhibited the growing of intracellular amastigotes of L. donovani with an IC50 value of 22.3 ± 1.8 μg/mL. This study demonstrates the usefulness of the essential oils as a promising alternative to treat leishmaniasis.
  • Anticoagulant activity in salivary gland homogenates of Thyrsopelma guianense (Diptera: Simuliidae), the primary vector of onchocerciasis in the Brazilian Amazon Articles

    Chagas, Andrezza Campos; Medeiros, Jansen Fernandes; Astolfi-Filho, Spartaco; Py-Daniel, Victor

    Abstract in English:

    In this study, anticoagulant activity was detected in salivary gland homogenates (SGHs) of Thyrsopelma guianense (Diptera: Simuliidae). The SGH yielded 1.07 μg ± 0.03 (n = 15) of total soluble protein per pair of glands. In addition, following SDS-PAGE (12.5% gel) and silver nitrate staining, 12 polypeptides with molecular weights ranging from 14-69 kDa were detected in all physiological ages analyzed (12 h, 24 h, 48 h and 72 h following emergence). Coagulation bioassays showed that the SGHs had activities that interacted at all levels of coagulation (the intrinsic, extrinsic and common pathways), by extending the plasma recalcification time, prothrombin time, thrombin time. This is the first report on the activity of salivary gland proteins from the main vector of onchocerciasis in Brazil. We also suggest detailed studies on the morphology and function of the salivary glands in order to understand the role of these proteins in host/vector interactions.
  • The risk of acquiring the new influenza A(H1N1) for Brazilian travelers to Chile, Argentina and the USA Articles

    Massad, Eduardo; Burattini, Marcelo Nascimento; Coutinho, Francisco Antonio; Struchiner, Cláudio José

    Abstract in English:

    We estimate the risk of acquiring the new influenza A(H1N1) for Brazilian travelers to Chile, Argentina and the USA. This is done by a mathematical model that quantifies the intensity of transmission of the new virus in those countries and the probability that one individual has of acquiring the influenza depending on the date of arrival and time spent in the area. The maximum estimated risk reached 7.5 cases per 10,000 visitors to Chile, 17 cases per 10,000 travelers to Argentina and 23 cases per 10,000 travelers to the USA. The estimated number of imported cases until 27 July is 57 ± 9 from Chile, 136 ± 27 from the USA and 301 ± 21 from Argentina, which are in accord with the official figures. Estimating the number of imported cases was particularly important for the moment of the disease introduction into this country, but it will certainly be important again as a tool to calculate the number of future imported cases from northern countries in our next inter-epidemic season, were imported cases can constitute again the majority of the new influenza burden to the Brazilian health services.
  • Chemical composition and antiprotozoal activities of Colombian Lippia spp essential oils and their major components Articles

    Escobar, Patricia; Milena Leal, Sandra; Herrera, Laura Viviana; Martinez, Jairo Rene; Stashenko, Elena

    Abstract in English:

    The chemical composition and biological activities of 19 essential oils and seven of their major components were tested against free and intracellular forms of Leishmania chagasi and Trypanosoma cruzi parasites as well as Vero and THP-1 mammalian cell lines. The essential oils were obtained from different species of Lippia, a widely distributed genus of Colombian plants. They were extracted by microwave radiation-assisted hydro-distillation and characterised by GC-FID and GC-MS. The major components were geranial, neral, limonene, nerol, carvacrol, p-cymene, γ-terpinene, carvone and thymol. The essential oil of Lippia alba exhibited the highest activity against T. cruzi epimastigotes and intracellular amastigotes with an IC50 of 5.5 μg/mL and 12.2 μg/mL, respectively. The essential oil of Lippia origanoides had an IC50 of 4.4 μg/mL in L. chagasi promastigotes and exhibited no toxicity in mammalian cells. Thymol (IC50 3.2 ± 0.4 μg/mL) and S-carvone (IC50 6.1 ± 2.2 μg/mL), two of the major components of the active essential oils, were active on intracellular amastigotes of T. cruziinfected Vero cells, with a selective index greater than 10. None of the essential oils or major components tested in this study was active on amastigotes of L. chagasi infected THP-1 cells.
  • Temporal distribution of ten calyptrate dipteran species of medicolegal importance in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Articles

    Barbosa, Rodrigo Rocha; Mello-Patiu, Cátia Antunes de; Ururahy-Rodrigues, Alexandre; Barbosa, Celso Guimarães; Queiroz, Margareth Maria de Carvalho

    Abstract in English:

    Brazilian studies involving entomological succession patterns in carcasses have been used to describe the necrophagous entomofauna of a determined municipality or region with forensic objectives. Following the same objectives, an ecological study with 10 calyptrate dipterans was carried out during the winter of 2007 and the summer of 2008 in the metropolitan region of the municipality of Rio de Janeiro. The aim of this study was to describe several aspects of the phenology of these species in three neighbouring areas. Carcasses of three domestic pigs (Sus scrofa L.) were used in each season as models for forensic and legal medicine investigations in the region. Temperature, relative humidity and rainfall were measured daily and their relations with population abundance of the colonising species and the decomposition stages were analysed. Ten fly species were recorded to be colonising the carcasses, five of which belonged to the Calliphoridae family, three to the Muscidae, one to the Fanniidae and one to the Sarcophagidae family. Data show preferences of these species for climatic season and decomposition stage, as well as for the studied area and suggest that short distances can significantly influence the abundance of some species.
  • Rhodococcus equi isolation from sputum of patients with suspected tuberculosis Articles

    Silva, Paulo da; Miyata, Marcelo; Sato, Daisy Nakamura; Santos, Adolfo Carlos Barreto; Mendes, Natália Helena; Leite, Clarice Queico Fujimura

    Abstract in English:

    Rhodococcus equi has emerged as an opportunistic pathogen associated with pulmonary, invasive or systemic infections in immunocompromised patients. We report the identification of 51 R. equi isolates found in sputum samples of 546 individuals suspected to have pulmonary tuberculosis in two Public Health Hospital Units in Brazil. The epidemiology of R. equi infection as well as the phenotypic identification and drug susceptibility profile of isolates are described in this paper.
  • Light and electron microscopy of Myxobolus sciades n. sp. (Myxozoa), a parasite of the gills of the Brazilian fish Sciades herzbergii (Block, 1794) (Teleostei: Ariidae) Articles

    Azevedo, Carlos; Casal, Graça; Mendonça, Ivete; Carvalho, Erisson; Matos, Patrícia; Matos, Edilson

    Abstract in English:

    A myxosporean parasite in the gill lamellae of the freshwater teleost fish, Sciades herzbergii (Ariidae) (Block, 1794), from the Poti River (Northeast of Brazil) was described by light and electron microscopy studies. Polysporic histozoic cyst-like plasmodia containing several life-cycle stages, including mature spores, were observed. The spores were pyriform and uninucleate, measuring 9.15 ± 0.39 μm (n = 50) long, 4.36 ± 0.23 μm (n = 25) wide and 2.61 ± 0.31 μm (n = 25) thick. Elongated pyriform polar capsules (PC) were of equal size (4.44 ± 0.41 μm long and 1.41 ± 0.42 μm in diameter) and each contained a polar filament with 9-10 coils obliquely arranged in relation to the axis of PC. The PC wall was composed of two layers of different electron densities. Histological analysis revealed the close contact of the cyst-like plasmodia with the basal portion of the epithelial gill layer, which exhibited some alterations in the capillary vessels. Based on the morphological and ultrastructural differences, the similarity of the spore features to those of the genus Myxobolus and the specificity of this host to previously described species, we describe a new species named Myxobolus sciades n. sp. in this study.
  • Study of sand fly fauna in an endemic area of American cutaneous leishmaniasis and canine visceral leishmaniasis in the municipality of Espírito Santo do Pinhal, São Paulo, Brazil Articles

    Colla-Jacques, Fernanda Elisa; Casanova, Cláudio; Prado, Ângelo Pires do

    Abstract in English:

    Canine American visceral leishmaniasis and American cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL) cases have been recorded in Espírito Santo do Pinhal. The aim of this study was to gather knowledge of the sand fly community and its population ecology within the municipality. Captures were made weekly over a period of 15 months in the urban, periurban and rural areas of the municipality, using automatic light traps. A total of 5,562 sand flies were collected, comprising 17 species. The most abundant species were Nyssomyia whitmani and Pintomyia pessoai in the rural area, Lutzomyia longipalpis and Ny. whitmani in the periurban area and Lu. longipalpis in the urban area. The highest species richness and greatest index species diversity were found in the rural area. The similarity index showed that urban and periurban areas were most alike. Lu. longipalpis was found in great numbers during both dry and humid periods. The presence of dogs infected with Leishmania infantum chagasi in the urban area indicates a high risk for the establishment of the disease in the region. A high abundance of Ny. whitmani and Pi. pessoai in the rural and periurban areas indicates the possibility of new cases of ACL occurring in and spreading to the periurban area of Espírito Santo do Pinhal.
  • Breeding sites of Culicoides pachymerus Lutz in the Magdalena River basin, Colombia Articles

    Carrasquilla, María Cristina; Guhl, Felipe; Zipa, Yaneth; Ferro, Cristina; Pardo, Raúl Hernando; Cabrera, Olga Lucía; Santamaría, Erika

    Abstract in English:

    The breeding sites of Culicoides pachymerus are described for the first time in western Boyacá Province, Colombia, where this species is a public health problem. In addition to being a nuisance due to its enormous density and its high biting rates, C. pachymerus cause dermatological problems in the human population. Analysis of microhabitats by the sugar flotation technique and the use of emergence traps allowed us to recover 155 larvae of Culicoides spp and 65 adults of C. pachymerus from peridomiciliary muddy substrates formed by springs of water and constant rainwater accumulation. These important findings could aid in the design of integrated control meas-ures against this pest.
  • Impact of water renewal on the residual effect of larvicides in the control of Aedes aegypti Short Communications

    Pontes, Ricardo José Soares; Dantas Filho, Fábio Fernandes; Alencar, Carlos Henrique Morais de; Regazzi, Ana Cláudia Ferreira; Cavalcanti, Luciano Pamplona de Góes; Ramos Jr, Alberto Novaes; Lima, José Wellington de Oliveira

    Abstract in English:

    This study was carried out to evaluate the residual effect of three larvicides under laboratory conditions for 100 days in Aedes aegypti. The larval mortality rate was measured without water renewal or with daily water renewal (80%). With temephos, there was 100% mortality in both groups until the 70th day. In the Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti)-WDG test, there was no difference during the first 20 days. With Bti-G, without water renewal, mortality was sustained above 90% for up to 35 days. The second experiment (with water renewal) reduced the mortality to below 90% after the first 20 days. When renewed water was provided, the residual effect was significantly lower for all larvicides.
  • Paleoparasitological report on Ascaris aDNA from an ancient East Asian sample Short Communications

    Oh, Chang Seok; Seo, Min; Lim, Nam Jin; Lee, Sang Jun; Lee, Eun-Joo; Lee, Soong Deok; Shin, Dong Hoon

    Abstract in English:

    In this study, Ascaris DNA was extracted and sequenced from a medieval archaeological sample in Korea. While Ascaris eggs were confirmed to be of human origin by archaeological evidence, it was not possible to pinpoint the exact species due to close genetic relationships among them. Despite this shortcoming, this is the first Ascaris ancient DNA (aDNA) report from a medieval Asian country and thus will expand the scope of Ascaris aDNA research.
  • Occurrence and composition of class 1 and class 2 integrons in clinical and environmental O1 and non-O1/non-O139 Vibrio cholerae strains from the Brazilian Amazon Short Communications

    Sá, Lena Lillian Canto de; Fonseca, Érica Lourenço da; Pellegrini, Maíra; Freitas, Fernanda; Loureiro, Edvaldo Carlos Brito; Vicente, Ana Carolina Paulo

    Abstract in English:

    This study identified and characterised class 1 and 2 integrons in clinical and environmental Vibrio cholerae O1 and non-O1/non-O139 strains isolated from the Brazilian Amazon. The aadA2 and aadA7 gene cassettes were found in class 1 integrons in two genotypes of environmental V. cholerae non-O1/non-O139. Empty integrons were found in strains from the Brazilian cholera epidemic. A class 2 integron was detected in one strain from the V. cholerae Amazonia lineage harbouring sat1 and aadA1 genes. All isolates were resistant to aminoglycosides, indicating aadA functionality. These findings suggest that environmental bacteria act as cassette reservoirs that favour the emergence of resistant pathogens.
  • In vitro and in vivo experimental models for drug screening and development for Chagas disease Technical Notes

    Romanha, Alvaro José; Castro, Solange Lisboa de; Soeiro, Maria de Nazaré Correia; Lannes-Vieira, Joseli; Ribeiro, Isabela; Talvani, André; Bourdin, Bernadette; Blum, Bethania; Olivieri, Bianca; Zani, Carlos; Spadafora, Carmenza; Chiari, Egler; Chatelain, Eric; Chaves, Gabriela; Calzada, José Eduardo; Bustamante, Juan Manuel; Freitas-Junior, Lucio H; Romero, Luz I; Bahia, Maria Terezinha; Lotrowska, Michel; Soares, Milena; Andrade, Sonia Gumes; Armstrong, Tanya; Degrave, Wim; Andrade, Zilton de Araújo

    Abstract in English:

    Chagas disease, a neglected illness, affects nearly 12-14 million people in endemic areas of Latin America. Although the occurrence of acute cases sharply has declined due to Southern Cone Initiative efforts to control vector transmission, there still remain serious challenges, including the maintenance of sustainable public policies for Chagas disease control and the urgent need for better drugs to treat chagasic patients. Since the introduction of benznidazole and nifurtimox approximately 40 years ago, many natural and synthetic compounds have been assayed against Trypanosoma cruzi, yet only a few compounds have advanced to clinical trials. This reflects, at least in part, the lack of consensus regarding appropriate in vitro and in vivo screening protocols as well as the lack of biomarkers for treating parasitaemia. The development of more effective drugs requires (i) the identification and validation of parasite targets, (ii) compounds to be screened against the targets or the whole parasite and (iii) a panel of minimum standardised procedures to advance leading compounds to clinical trials. This third aim was the topic of the workshop entitled Experimental Models in Drug Screening and Development for Chagas Disease, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on the 25th and 26th of November 2008 by the Fiocruz Program for Research and Technological Development on Chagas Disease and Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative. During the meeting, the minimum steps, requirements and decision gates for the determination of the efficacy of novel drugs for T. cruzi control were evaluated by interdisciplinary experts and an in vitro and in vivo flowchart was designed to serve as a general and standardised protocol for screening potential drugs for the treatment of Chagas disease.
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